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>> welcome to the broadcast. i'm roger cohen of the "new york times." tonight, special edition. charlie rose is in berlin for an exclusive one-hour conversation with u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton on the historic 20th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall. >> you know, we have new walls. the walls of the 21st century, they may not be, you know, the visible of the concrete and the barbed wire as we saw here in berlin, but they are equally confining and defining. they are walls of ignorance and extremism. we fight wars to protect america. our values, our interests, our allies. we fight wars so that we can
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achieve an end point that we think is in furtherance of that. so if we're going to fight this war, then everybody better be very clear what it is that we're trying to do. would we like to see education levels in afghanistan improve? absolutely. is that directly in our national security interests? probably not. so we want to help, but we want to keep focused on what is clearly in our national security interests. to dismantle, disrupt, and defeat al qaeda and its extremist allies. >> hillary clinton for the hour coming up.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications >> good evening, i'm roger cohen of the "new york times." charlie rose is in berlin where, earlier today, he interviewed secretary of state hillary clinton. he was participating in the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall. world leaders and thousands of visitors converged on the city to mark the historic moment. the day was filled with a series of symbolic events. german chancellor angela merkel, along with former soviet leader mikhail gorbachev and polish solidarity leader lech walesa retraced the steps of the first
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each germans, including chancellor merkel herself as they surged into west berlin on november 9, 1989. in the evening, heads of state, including british prime minister gordon brown, french president nicolas sarkozy, russian president dmitry medvedev, chancellor merkel and secretary of state clinton all walked through the brandenburg gate from east to west. under a drizzling rain, secretary of state hillary clinton spoke and then introduced a video message from president barack obama. >> together let us keep the light of freedom burning bright for all who live in the darkness of tierney and believe in hope for brighter days. >> the hour-long interview took place at the famous hotel add lon in the shadow of the brandenburg gate. it was a de-ranging conversation that began with the legacy of the wall. she also spoke about iran, afghanistan, and pakistan, and her upcoming trip to china with
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president obama. here is that conversation. >> rose: thank you for joining us. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: at this historic time in this historic city, where were you when you heard the news that the berlin wall had come down? >> i was in arkansas and bill and i were living in the governor's mansion in arkansas. and i remember watching the news coverage which that time was pretty... much more limited than it is today, over and over again and talking with not only my husband but lots of friends about what this meant. because i'm a child of the cold war. i remember those duck-and-cover drills that we did in school to protect ourselves against the communist threat. i studied international relations in college. i had a big interest in it in law school. and the cold war was the
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defining structure of how we saw ourselves and how we managed our affairs. it was an amazing moment. but that whole year was like that. i mean, the activities that swept the world. not just in europe, but predominantly in europe that lead to that moment, that iconic moment when the wall was literally ripped apart by people. it was so moving to me. >> rose: what's the significance? what are the lessons we need to appreciate? >> well, i think there are so many. but among them is that freedom can never be denied as long as free people elsewhere continue to speak up and speak out about the right of all people to be free. as long as the transatlantic alliance that was forged after world war ii that ran the berlin airlifts that kept this city and its people fed and warm, as long as free people will r willing to invest in defense and to take
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measures that are necessary in a still-dangerous world. but that ultimately freedom resides in the hearts of people. and what we saw in bratislava and bucharest and budapest and then sweeping across started in the gdansk shipyards, it was fueled by ship workers who had had enough, they were tired of being denied their rights as workers and as human beings. it was encouraged by a pope who came from poland and new who knew the importance of human dignity and the freedom people should be able exercise. and so on that night in november 20 years ago it was a swelling up that had taken years. it was like a tsunami. the earthquake had happened and the ripple effects were occurring and then it just washed over and the wall came down and there was this great
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sense of relief and gratitude at the sacrifice of so many who'd come before and of the leadership that stayed the course. that, you know, didn't go too far and provoke a military conflict but who made it very clear by resolve and commitment on a bipartisan basis starting with harry truman all the way through george h.w. bush that we stood with the people of berlin, of germany, and of europe. >> rose: what are the walls that we have to tear down today? >> oh, well, you know, we have new walls, the walls of the 21st century. they may not be the visible as the concrete and barbed wire as we saw here in berlin but they are equally confining and defining. they are walls of ignorance and extremism. they're walls of oppression and impoverishment. they are not necessarily walls constructed by ideology but they
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are walls that exist in the mind-sets of those who would try to turn the block back on human progress, deny women their rights, use tools like suicide bombings and terrorism to try to assert themselves and we have to in the west along with our friends and allies throuout the rest of the world understand that this is our challenge of the 21st century. we can't walk away from it. we have to be smart about how we address it but it is what calls us to action today. >> rose: you met with chancellor merkel. >> yes. >> rose: is germany on board with respect to afghanistan? >> i think germany is committed to the effort in afghanistan. they're waiting, like the rest of the world is, the united states and through president obama to announce our intentions and our way forward. but they have a deep understanding of why this is important for nato, why this is
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important for the larger international community. and i think that given the right measures of accountability that we need to be seeking from president karzai and his government, we're going to see a commitment not just from germany but from many of our nato allies. >> rose: might they make up whatever the gap is between what general mcchrystal is seeking and what the united states is prepared to provide in terms of troops? >> well, i think we have to wait for the president's announcement. but we will be, as we have been, consulting very deeply our allies and talking about what we want to see from them in order to have this integrated military and civilian strategy. because, remember it's not just about troops on the ground, it's about making sure that the people of afghanistan see the results of this effort. that they have more faith in their own government as of... as an entity that can deliver for
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them. so there needs to be a lot more civilian and financial support as well as military and troop support. but in my conversations with a lot of our allies, not only in nato but beyond, there is an openness and a readiness to participate. >> rose: to look at in the a new direction. >> absolutely. yes. >> rose: when you look at that question of afghanistan and those that say "can we win? can we stop the taliban?" is your answer yes? >> my answer is yes. that right now we've been somewhat in a holding pattern because of the afghan elections. it's hard to make a new policy until we know who is in the new government and until we have very clear discussions about at is expected from them. this is not just a one sided contract here. but i also think that the momentum as described by general mcchrystal and others that the taliban seem to have acquired can definitely be broken.
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there is no evidence whatsoever that the vast majority of the people in afghanistan want to see a return of the taliban. in poll after poll and anecdotal evidence as well they remember the brutality and oppressiveness, the perversion of religion that was used for the grabbing and holding of power under the taliban. >> rose: beyond that, is the taliban in control in afghanistan a threat to the united states? >> i believe it is. i believe it is a threat because i believe that it once again provides a safe haven because what we have seen is that al qaeda is now part of a syndicate of terror. it inspires, it directs, it trains, equips, funds other groups within this syndicate. and to many of us, the principal
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aboutive is still to defeat, capture, kill the al qaeda leadership. we do think that is important. it's not a marginal issue, it's a core issue for us. but we also realize that there are many aspects to this threat om extremism that have to be addressed. it is imperative that there not be safe haven for al qaeda and its syndicates, its allies in afghanistan. >> rose: and that's what the taliban would deliver if they were in control. >> they would in parts of afghanistan. if they couldn't take over the entire country because of resistance from the afghans themselves and allies like us, they would certainly establish a beachhead and would have a broader area of operaons. >> rose: so what do you say to mothers and fathers as you know the question who are saying, are you asking me to send my son or my daughter to afghanistan where i am essentially fighting for a corrupt or fraudulent
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government? >> no, but you're not. you're fighting for the united states. you are fighting to protect our homeland and our people. we often don't get to choose the battlefield that we're on. we have to adjust to whatever the circumstances are that we find and much of what president obama and the rest of us in this administration have been working on for the last eight months is that given the failures of the last eight years to capture and kill the al qaeda leadership,o try to stabilize afghanistan, we have to recommit ourselves. because we do think it's in our interest, we do think it's in our security interests. and i feel very strongly that the young men and women who are stationed in afghanistan are really doing what has to be done on the front lines of the war against terrorism. >> rose: and they understand and believe in the mission. >> yes. well and its importance that the entire american public understand and believe in the mission.
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because in a democracy, we have to support those that we send to the battlefield. >> rose: do you believe at this point that the american public understands the mission or are they waiting for the president now to redefine the mission? and the strategy. >> yes. and i think that they're waiting for the results of this review. back in march when the president made his speech about what we were going to do going forward, he ordered new troops into afghanistan, he saw a change of commander, which is unusual in order to better fulfill our mission and he said "we will be revisiting this after the afghan elections. it's just taken longer to get the elections over than we had thought. so we will be clearly defining the purpose of our mission, how it's going to be reconstitutes. >> rose: what's taking so long and what's the debate inside? >> well, i... look, i have to say that i think we went through
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eight years where it at least appeared on the outside that there wasn't enough time taken. there wasn't enough thought given as to what we were tryi to achieve and how we would achieve it. there were a lot of mid-course corrections. witness the surge in iraq. and part of what the president is trying to do with his national security team is to go and seek out information that is of direct relevance, evaluate that information, make sure that we are putting forth the best thought in order to fulfill the mission that he's going to set. you know, i think it's... i it's unfortunate, charlie, that we live in a time when people expect instantaneous reaction. huge crisis, get out in front of the cameras and talk about it when you don't all of the facts because the facts are hard to gather. and i think what the president is determined to do is to feel as positively focused and as comfortable as possible. >> rose: fair enough. but is he... are you looking to
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the answer to some question? and if so, what is that question and what is the debate about that question? >> well, i think that the question really is how best to define the mission so that we and our allies, our publics, and the world understand what we're trying to achieve. the mission was, frankly, confused. there was a lot of talk during the prior administration that came pretty close to nation building, transforming afghanistan. there was a lot of confusion about what that meant and how to do it. we wanted to be sure that we stripped down and focused on what is most important. i mean, we fight wars to protect america. our values. our interests, our allies. we fight wars so that we can achieve an end point that we think is in furtherance of that. so if we're going to fight this war, then everybody better be very clear what it is that we're trying to do. would we like to see education levels in afghanistan improve?
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absolutely. is that directly in r national security interest? probably not. so we want to help, but we want to keep focused on what is clearly in our national security interest. to dismantle, disrupt, and defeat al qaeda and its extremist allies. well, let's define those tremist allies more carefully, let's not just paint with a broad brush. is some poor young man who has no economic prospects who is basically volunteer to the taliban by his village so the village is not attacked by the taliban, is he our extremist foe or is he someone who can be persuaded to leave the taliban and once again reenter society. these are questions that go to the operational aspects. it's easy to paint the big picture. we're there andgood for us. but how does that translate into what we do on the ground? how does that actually affect troop decisions and deployment decisions and expenditures of civilian dollars?
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so i think this review which has been more thorough and more debated than what we're told ever happened previously gives us a platform on which the president c stand. >> rose: but it has to be a certain element of government because if the strategy is within ten areas, say, to take and hold and build, which is the operative idea, is it snot so give pro toex the civilians, that's the only way you'll have an effective counterinsurgency strategy. >> right, but let's think about counterinsurgency. counterinsurgency is protecting population centers. >> rose: right. and they have to be a part of that themselves. >> they have to be a part of that themselves. but it may mean that you don't deploy in some areas where there's not very much in population to speak of but instead you only do counterterrorism in thosereas. so you try to concentrate your troops where we can give the maximum stability. and when we talk about governing it's not just what happens in
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kabul, it's what happens on the ground in local districts. if you look at a map of afghanistan and you really evaluate, well, which districts are under government control-- meaning e central government in kabul-- what are under local gornment control? what are contested? what are under taliban control? i mean, there is a varied picture here and part of what we want to do is to convince the people of afghanistan is that it's not just clear, hold, and build, it's also transition. we don't want to stay a day longer than we must in order to transition over to forces and security that is in the hands of the afghans themselves. >> rose: you were recently in pakistan. >> yes. >> rose: you are convinced the pakistans now understand that the taliban is their enemy as much as their long held oppotion to india and they're prepared to do something? >> well, they're certainly evidencing that. this very forceful response,
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first in swat, now in south waziristan illustrates a commitment to take on the pakistani taliban. i think in my conversations with both the civilian government leaders as well as the military and intelligence leaders, there is an awareness that the taliban is not just about somebody else's fight. it is a direct attack on the authority of the pakistani government. when you have extremists attacking your general army headquarters, your intelligence offices who go right at the islamic university in islamabad, this is not some foreign plot. these are people homegrown who want to overthrow various aspects of the pakistani government and control territory within the boundaries of pakistan. so there's no doubt in my mind as they see this as a direct
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threat. >> rose: and they're prepared to go as far north as north waziristan? >> well, i don't want to speak for them. they have their hands full in south waziristan, but they understand, too that you can't just play whack-a-mole. you can't just knock down the taliban somewhere and expect they're done because they have unfortunately created this syndicate, this network of interconnected terrorist groups and the pakistanis have to be vigilant. but at people of pakistan are much more in favor of what the army's doing that an any point in the past. >> rose: you raised a question in the press conference about osama bin laden. did you get any information as to where he is and why they have not been able to reach him? >> rose: well, i did raise that question, because i was very willing to hear all the questions and concerns from the people in the government of pakistan. and there are rbs for their concerns. >> we haven't always been the most consistent or understanding
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partner and ally over the course of our relationship. and we do bear some of the responsibility, frankly, for helping to create the very terrorists that we're now all threatened by. so after listening and responding and doing what i could to dispel some of the myths and the stereotyping that goes on, i said "you know, americans have questions, too. we find it hard to believe that nobody knows where the al qaeda leadership is. and i think that there i no evidence that anybody in the government at the top levels knows, but what we're trying to encourage is their awareness and acceptance of if fact that the al qaeda leadership is arrayed against them as well and still poses a direct threat to us. i mean, we have had the arrests just recently of zazi, someone who trained in an al qaeda
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training camp in pakistan. so we're going to keep pressing. this is the highest priority to us. and we are encouraged and supportive of what pakistan is doing against their enemies. we want more help against our common enemy. >> rose: and they've been successful against some of the pakistani taliban leaders? >> yes. >> rose: let me move to iran for a second. for longer than a second. where does that stand now? i interview mohammed elbaradei on friday. and he said that the iranians are reluctant to take the deal because they're reluctant to give up their nuclear material. and he suggested that perhaps turkey might be a more amenable repository for that rather than russia. are you involved in this idea or not? >> yes. well, we're very involved in it. and let me just put in the context. when this idea was first jointly proposed, it was in response to
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the iranians' request to the international atomic energy agency for assistance in refueling their tehran research reactor which, so far as we know is not at all connected to their other enrichment program or any program that would lead to weaponization. >> rose: had medical purposes, they say. >> medical isotopes and we happen to believe that's true. so when the iranians made that request, the united states and russia together made a joint response and we said that we would be willing to take out the 1,200 or so kilograms of enriched uranium, have it repressed and have it returned to... reprocessed and have it returned to fuel the research reactor. the iranians accepted that in principle and continued to be very favorably disposed toward it at the first meeting on october 1. >> rose: in the person of their
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representative but also president ahmadinejad specght. so it appeared as though there would be a meeting of the minds, which would be immensely reassuring to the world that if iran were willing to do this, it would demonstrate good faith on their part, it would open the door to further talks about their nuclear program and then i think we have seen a lot of confusion and debate within the iranian leadership to some measure fueled by their internal discussions arising out of the elections and the opposition. some of it is personality driven. we understand all of that. >> rose: but it's coming from all sides. it's coming from the ayatollah on one side and then even some people who are part of the reform movement. >> well, we also believe a lot of it is jockeying. and some of it has got more to do with ahmadinejad than it does with us war this proposal. me nevertheless, it is our very firm conviction, and there has
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been absolute unity among the so-called p5 plus 1 which includes russia and china that we expect a favorable response from iran. >> rose: soon? >> soon. yes. we understand the internal political dynamics and we've been, i think, patient in helping them to see that we're serious. there are certain safeguards that could be agreed to that they would get their uranium back oncit had been enriched. but they have to take this step as a confidence blding measure. w the international community. and i hope that they will do so. >> rose: and if they don't? >> well, we'll cross that bridge when we actually come to it. >> rose: well, the first action is you go to the united nations for sanctions. has anything changed that will make the russians at that point more amenable to supporting sanctions? because many argue that if the russians support sanctions, so will the chinese. >> well, i've been encouraged by the comments from president
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medvedev just recently again over the weekend in an interview with spiegel here in germany where he talked about perhaps there will be a need for sanctions and i hope that if it comes to that-- which we still would like to avoid by this cooperative arrangement-- that we will have everyone on board. and there's already been an agreement entered into by the p5 plus 1 including russia and china that we were on a dual track. we were on one track which was negotiations, diplomacy, agreements like that affecting the tehran research reactor. but in the absence of progress there, we were on a second track which would look to assert more pressure and impose more sanctions. whether that's going to be necessary or what the content would be and where they would be sought... you know, there's not anything magical about the u.n., there's other ways of imposing
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sanctions. so we are in the process of exploring that with others. >> rose: is the atlantic alliance going to help? >> absolutely. >> rose: are they going to be prepared to enforce? >> well, we've seen an increase in actions by many of the nations of europe because they understand that this is a threat to them. you know, when the president made his decision about changing the missile defense architecture it was in response to a better understanding that o technical and defense experts had that iran was further advanced in short and medium-range missiles than long-term missiles. so short and medium range missiles can hit every part of europe. so i think the europeans understand that this is a very important step for them to try to help us and others to assert pressure against iran. >> rose: secretary gates has said that a military option probably would only delay for a year or two. >> well, no one wants to go to
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that. we've always said that every option is on the table. our goal is to prevent or dissuade iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. and we've made it clear that they have a right to nuclear power that is civil and peacefully used. >> rose: mohammed elbaradei said that they don't trust us. that the level of trust there... and we have reason not to trust them. you assume that there are other facilities that we have not discovered so far or they have not acknowledged so far. >> well, we don't have any evidence of that but obviously we're always vigilant and looking for anything that might suggest another concealed undisclosed facility. i'm not in any way down playing the lack of trust. i mean, we have 30 years of mistrust, misunderstanding and misaligned objectives. i mean, the iranians not only
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worry us because of their nuclear program, they worry us because of their support for terrorism. their support for the military wing of hezbollah. their support fors. their interference in the internal affairs of their neighbors, trying to destabilize gulf countries and other countries throughout th greater region. so iran has given us many reasons to worry about their motivation and their action but i think what president obama has tried to do since becoming president is to create a new dynamic where, look, we don't have to trust or love each other to understand that it is in our interest to try to stabilize the world. it is not in iran's interest to have a nuclear arms race in the gulf where they would be less secure than they are today. it is not in iran's interest or the iranian people's interest to be subjected to very onerous
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sanctions. so the president has reached out and has really gone the extra mile to try to engage with the iranians if they cannotvercome their mistrust and their internal political dynamics, then we have to do what we think is in our interest interests. >> rose: they'll have to deal with the consequences. >> of course. that's the way the world works. >> rose: is there anything that we can do to say to them we understand your fear, we understand your paranoia, we ask you, what is your... what can we do to convince you that nuclear weapons are not in your interest? >> well, those are certainly the messages that the president has publicly stated, as you know. he's had private messages sent to the supreme leader. he has charged the rest of the administration to convey that message and i think it was significant when this administration said "we accept your right under appropriate
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safeguards to have civil nuclear power. we are not going to be demonizing you and calling you names. we'd much wrather have a civil diplomatic relationship that could lead to negotiations that would lower the temperature and try to diminish the mistrust." but it takes two to do that. and certainly the way the iranian government handled the elections, the response to legitimate opposition has been very disconcerting. because it demonstrates they don't trust their own people. not only that they don't trust us! they don't trust many iranians! so when you get to that level.... >> rose: after the election, they have reason to. >> well, that's right. and so you get to that level of mistrust all the way around you, how you break through that is what we're looking for. but it may or may not be possible. that's pretty much up to the iranians. if this were a confident leadership, they would accept
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tehran research react ordeal. they would not be worried about it. this is not a confident leadership because of the pressus that are coming from within iran. >> rose: so whatever happened in that election, the aftermath, has not been capped and will continue to... >> i don't think we're be any means at the end of that story. >> rose: all right. so what's the message of the obama administration and from the secretary of state about the united states and its foreign policy intentions today? >> that we are back. >> rose: back as... >> back as fully engaged. we're not leaving any part of the world unattended to. because that was one of the most common complaints i heard when i dhoz go to asia for my first trip. it was because there was this sense that the united states was departing from the pacific, a place that we had been intimately involved in for much of the 20th century. and at a time when there's a lot of questions about how the
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pacific asian region will be organized. and what role the united states will play. so first and foremost that we are engaged. we're not just focused on the one or two most pressing trouble spots that we have to deal with. that we are working to bring people together to create more partnerships. we went from a bipolar world that ended when the wall came down in berlin and we want a multipartner world where we can make common cause on transnational challenges like climate change or h1n1 influenza and where we are bring partners to the table on some of the difficult security challenges. look at what we achieved with north korea. we got china and russia along with japan and south korea working with us to impose the toughest sanctions ever. now, why, then, is north korea begins to say they want to talk, they want to talk? it's because they see a united
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front against them? so we really believe that engagement is not an end in itself, but it's the door you walk through to get to the table to get into the negotiations that can possibly lead to improving conditions regionally and globally. and i'm very mmitted to doing that but it is an intensely personal relationship building endeavor. >> rose: you've also as a hallmark have said we want to listen and so has the president, but enough your political career. >> right. >> rose: so what are you hear what is the role they see whether in europe whether it's europe? >> right. >> rose: or whether it's china or the middle east. because some people say there will be no peace in the middle east without the united states there ting something. but on the other hand, you've got to have people who are willing to accept that role. well, you ask a complex question that raises a lot of interconnected issues. first, when i'm listening, what
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i'm hearing is that people know the united states cannot solve all the problems of the world. but they know that without the united states, the chances of solving any of the problems are pretty remote. so they want us to be engaged, to be leading, both by example and through engagement. they also believe that the united states cannot leave the field on any of these problems. and as complicated and as difficult as they might be, we have to be there. we have to be working. now, we may be more engaged or less engaged depending upon our assessment. we leave the parties to themselves for periods of time and stand on the sidelines or we may be intensely working with them. that's a calibration. but the overall fact is the united states must be present. and you would any a world that has moved towards virtual
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reality than that might mean something other than it meant two centuries ago but in fact it means we have to be there. we have to show up. when i went to the asean meeting it meant so much to them. us a anne. we talked about everything from environmental conditions in the lower mekong delta to what we were going to do abouter be ma. and we are rebuilding that, which i think is essential. but equally important is to set autoour own objectives and the strategies designed t achieve those objectives and a lot of to that takes patience and part of what we're facing, charlie, is the united states unfortunately has lost leverage in the world because of the global economic crisis. and because of the steps that this administration had to take to try to prevent, frankly, a worldwide depression, which means increasing our debt, going into the biggest deficits we've seen since world war ii. that undermines some of the
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capacity we need to have to influence events. >> rose: explain that to me, because i was going to ask you about that, what's the impact of the global economic crisis. you're suggesting our leverage is less? >> yes, i am suggesting that. >> rose: because our economic power is less or because they look at us as creating a crisis that is debt cemental to them. >> i think both. i think both. what we have done is by moving from the creditor nation that my husband's policies helped to create to the debtor nation that we inherited from the bush administration, made even worse by the lapses in regulation and the failure of oversight that led to the global economic recession has raised questions in people's minds. because one thing the world believed about the united states is that we knew how to run an economy. we knew how to produce wealth. we knew how to create economic opportunity and consumption that was unmatched.
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>> rose: and they bought into the idea of markets and capitalism and all that. >> that's right. and i give the president and his economic team a lot of credit for navigating us through the worst of this crisis. and beginning not only the recovery economically but the recovery of confidence. but the fact is when we do have that recovery and we can all look at it, touch it and feel it and feel better about ourselves in the world, we're going to be hugely inn debt. and we're going to have deficits that will impinge upon our ability to make decisions and will also affect our capacity to deal with other countries, because we are in debt to them. >> rose: so you go to china and you sit down with... you and the president it is down with hu jintao, the president of china and he says "madam secretary, how do you see us? how do you see china over the next 50 years? and how do you see this relationship if you were the dominant country?
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we feel pretty good about where our economy is going and we want to play a role." >> and well they should. i think that there's no doubt, at least in my mind, that china has earned the right to play a role. and the rise of china is inevitable. the chinese are focused on improving the standard of living with their people, on playing a leadership role not only regionally but globally. and we are working to shuk sure that there's a peaceful rise, that there is a good understanding between the united states and china, what we called for was a positive cooperation and comprehensive relationship. secretary geithner and i on our side share our strategic and economic dialogue, which met for the first time at the end of july. where we're talking about a broad array of economic and strategic issues.
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because we want to have an in-depth relationship with china. >> rose: what's an example of it? i know the deal we want to make with respect to climate change and emission standards and all of that and they're really moving forward clearly on some areas of that. what's the strategic possibility? strategic in terms of the united states and china. >> right. >> rose: what can they do together? >> well, we can do a lot together. if the united states and china work together as we have in the g-20 process, we can help to stabilize the economic situation in the world and begin a recoverynd a return to growth. it would not be possible if it were just one or the other. it had to be in tandem and then to work with the other members of the t g-20. when it comes to climate change and clean energy, china's making a big bet on clean energy technology. that's an important bet for them to make. >> rose: a bigger bet than we are. >> well, i'd like to see us
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begin to do more on that. >> rose: solar. >> but you can't fault china for seeing a market opportunity as well as an environmental necessity so that they are moving. and i think they're moving in large measure because they see that this is beneficial t them but also because they want to be part of the world leadership in dealing with these transnational problems. they know that they will have an their doorstep the effects of erratic climate developments that thewill have to deal with. they know that they can't just turn a blind eye to north korea's provocative behavior. that it's very destabilizing and it isn't to be left to others. so they've been playing a much more involved role in trying to corral the north koreans. >> rose: doing everything you wanted them to do with respect to north korea? >> they have been extremely helpful with respect to north kore >> rose: africa, especially darfur. are they doing everything you want them to do there? >> they are more understanding of the long-term consequences to
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their position in sudan than they were before. what i mean by that is the chinese have natural resource interests in sudan. darfur is destabilizing. the north/south situation could become violent and lead to conflict again. that would put at risk chinese investments. so i think that they are looking in a broader way than they perhaps have aut their responsibility. it's not just we've got to find resources to feed the engine of the economy to produce 8% growth because we have so many hundreds of millions of people still living below poverty. it's, okay, we do have to do that but we have to be conscious and aware of the larger strategic interests that we have to be part of. >> rose: how about iran, though? where are they in helping you? because they have energy contracts with iran. >> well, they signed on to the
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agreement that i and the other foreign ministers signed in new york during the united nations general assembly about the two-track approach to iran that the foreign minister with whom i work closely, minister yang was at the table. so they know that this is complicated. what would be the worst nightmare for chinese energy needs? if war broke out in the larger gulf or the middle east. that would be devastating to them. so they know they have to.... >> rose: supply go down, price go up. >> absolutely. and whether the supply-- which was more limited-- could even get delivered would be a question. so i think that they are as they play a larger role in the world seeing the complexities that we all are facing and being much more open to listening. >> rose: a chinese official said to me if the united states would find a source of oil outside iran we may very well be more amenable. >> right. well, look, energy fuels all of us.
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and we don't happen to get any oil from iran, but if we were dependent upon iran, we'd have to be scrambling to figure out what we were going to do in order to enforce the international community's expectations on iran. so we know that china has to be aware of their own energy needs, which is why their move toward clean energy and alternative forms of energy is so important over the long run. >> rose: what do you say to them when they say "madam secretary, i'm worried about a protectionist sentiment in your congress. i've seen examples of it and a trade war would be terrible." >> we agree that a trade war would be terrible. but thiss not just a one-way street. we have concerns about some of the actions that the chinese government.... >> rose: and are they responsive in understanding? >> well, i mean everybody works from their own national interest and their own economist interest. who would expect anything different? but i think the conversation is much more candid and open. and very clear on our part as to
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how we don't want to see walls of protection. but we also need, you know, more guarantees for intellectual property in china. we watched some of the problems with exporting natural resources out of china, which they don't permit. so there's a lot to be discussed on both sides. >> rose: let me move to this job that you hold as we have a few more minutes left here. number one, how does what you had done before-- churchill famously said "everything i've done has prepared for for many moment" when he went to 10 downing during wor war ii. how does being first lady of arkansas, first lady of the united states, a senator from new york, and a presidential candidate with substantial political support influence make you a secretary of state for better? >> well, i think that a lot of my experience which was rooted in not only travel but working
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on international issues, being involved with many of the leaders, some of whom are still there, others of whom are still influential. >> rose: and that makes a difference in what way? >> it makes a difference because i come as a known commodity. i think it accelerate it is relationship to a point where we can move into the business side of what we are trying to do together. i also know that a lot of the players. i understand what their needs are. it is not take it or leave it, it's like, okay, how can we work toward as much of a win-win as possible? i don't think we're in a zero-sum game. that i believe's kind of ancient history given how the world works today. it is also... it has also been quite helpful for me to have been in political life. because even in societies that we view a lacking in democratic politics, there's always politics. maybe it's small "p" politics. maybe you have to rise through
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the party. maybe you have to fend off opposition from those who don't agree with your policies. you have to be at least aware of public opinion because evenin closed societies, public opinion can rise up and cause demands on you that you have to manage. so i have understand that. i mean, i know what it's like to have to either put together a coalition or deal with the consequences of the public either being for you or against you. and i've said on numerous occasions, look, iome to this job not as a diplomat or as an academic but as a political person. and that's why i know why this is difficult for you. and i've been really impressed by how quickly that creates a bond with some of the leaders. in some of the countries that i visited where we're asking the leadership to make some very hard choices that we think are in their interests but certainly in our interests, you know, being able to talk about our political background.
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i mean, it's well known that senator kerry and i were tag team in dealing with president karzai in the leadup to his decision to accept a second round. and i was talking about.... >> rose: tell me what youean by "tag team"? you realized he was there, you realized he had problems with certain people and you realized it was better to deal with the chairman of the foreign relations committee? >> first of all, the fact that john was there was so fortuitous we couldn't have scripted it but he was there at exactly the right time. and he and i talked about... he got fully briefed by ambassador holbrook about sort of the state of play. and he and i talked about how we made a political argument to karzai. you know, you can come in and say "look, it's the right thing to do, the international community expects you to do it, you must respond." >> rose: (laughs) yes, yes, but... >> but if you come in and say, "look, i won and lost elections, i know that this feels like, i understand how upset you are that you feel like you won and all the votes, regardless of
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whether they were specifically fraudulent or not based on the sample that the u.n. committee did are going to be thrown out and how that makes you feel" and all the rest of it. and john can walk through the garden with him andalk about how he felt when he felt bad about the outcome in ohio and i talk to hip about what happened in 2000 and i talk to him about, you know, the experiences that i had. >> rose: 2008. >> yes, exactly. so it helped. it really did help, charlie. because it was a visceral connection. and it wasn't something abstract. it was we know. we know how it feels. we know what you're going through inside. and how unfair you think it is! >> rose: (laughs) >> but there comes a time when a leader of a democracy must support the institutions. this is an institution that you must respect, just like in 2000, the supreme court made a decision, i would not have made in the "gore v. bush" case but you accept that and you go on and you therefore strengthen
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democracy and, frankly, you strengthen your hand politically. >> rose: is what you just said to me part of the way you thought about losing the nomination and moving on? >> of course. you know, i am a true true believer in the american political system and i think that it's rooted in who i am and how i was raised and my sense of patriotism and all these wonderful old-fashioned but very important values that i hold. so i did the best i could, i fought as hard as i could, i made my share of mistakes, i did better in some areas than i thought i would. i was very gratified by the support i had. but it came to an end. and i wanted to support at that time senator obama because he and i were much more in line on our world view and what we wanted to see happen domestically than the other party was so i threw myself into helping to elect him.
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and member was more surprised than i when after the election he called and asked me to consider taking this position. >> rose: is that the first time he mentioned it? >> absolutely. >> rose: so now you're secretary of state. you decided to accept it because... >> because when your president asks you to serve your country, i think you should say yes if you can. >> rose: but you had moments in which you said "i'm not sure this is in my best interest or, b, i'm the best person. whatever you thought. >> i said all ofhat over and over again. (laughs) >> rose: (laughs) >> i kept saying "how about so and so?" >> rose: exactly. you could have been senate majority leader. >> i want to return to the senate and catch up on my sleep, all of those thin. >> rose: (laughs) you were wrong about that! >> i was very wrong about that. if the shoe had been on the other foot and i had been asking him, i would have hoped that he would have said yes. and so how could by standoffish
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and say "i'd wrather be a senator and i want my life back" and all these things that were going through my mind. >> rose: someone watching the campaign, the democratic campaign, might have said there's some space between how you view the world and how he views the world. you being more hawkish, more... something. >> (laughs) well, look, i... i am very pleased at the relationship that the president and i have. >> rose: what will r you pleased about? >> that it is very collegial. it is personally very positive. we see each other all the time and we work very well together. and i think that we probably had people in both of our camps which were surprised by that and somewhat skeptical. but, you know, both of us understood what it is we had to do and do together given the array of problems we face. so i'm... look, i'm very committed to doing everything i can on behalf of my country and
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the president. >> rose: there's no sharp disagreements between the way you two see the world? >> well, if there are i wouldn't tell you. (laughs) >> rose: that suggests there are some. >> no, it doesn't. >> rose: but in the end it's... >> look, he's the president. but what i really appreciate is we have a very robust process where everybody is heard. and there is quite a good back and forth. testing assumptions, coming up with ideas and on couple of occasions i was in a somewhat solitary position vis-a-vis the n.f.c..... >> rose: give me one example of that. >> someday, charlesly, someday. about ten years later. but i went to the president and said "this is really what i would like you to think about and here are the reasons for it." and, you know, one very important matter he agreed with me. and so it's not just that you have discussions between the two
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of us which we do where we look at things from different angles, where we try to come up with the approach. but it's the larger team. sometimes both the president and i are pushing the people on our teams to think differently and more creatively. >> rose: you have said you'll never run for president again. >> yes, i said that. (laughs) >> rose: (laughs) any other things you've said that you'll never do again? >> oh, well, yes, i'm sure there are. at the moment i can't think of them. >> rose: thank you for this time. it's a pleasure to have this opportunity to see you. >> thanks, charlie. >> rose: from berlin, germany, a conversation with the secretary of state. this is, as we record this, november 9, 20 years after the wall came tearing down with momentous consequences as the secretary said, for europe, for russia, for the united states, and for the world. thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications ptioned by media access group at wgbh
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Charlie Rose
WHUT November 9, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EST

News/Business. (2009) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 23, China 19, Afghanistan 18, United States 18, Berlin 11, Taliban 9, Europe 8, Charlie 7, Pakistan 7, Russia 6, Iran 5, North Korea 4, Merkel 3, Obama 3, Germany 3, Tehran 3, Arkansas 3, U.n. 2, Mohammed Elbaradei 2, Clinton 2
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